This new Taylor Swift album comes at a time where life is a bit busy now, and it’s Christmas time too, and life is fast and slow at the same time, while enjoying partial lockdowns and tiers throughout Britain. This record is autumnal and wintery at the same time, hopeful, and emotional torturing, and bright, and regretful.
Her new album, evermore, comes as a sister album to her previous effort, and she manages to capture the beauty of both the similarities and differences between the 2 bodies of work. They can be enjoyed and dissected separately or together, but their impact is undeniable.
After enjoying folklore for 5 months, while my initial reaction was a bit… emotionally stunted, to say the least, I’ve come to enjoy it a lot, and my tears ricochet is still my favourite piece on it.
The album starts off with the lead single, willow. A very witchy vibe, but with promises of everlasting love, although not spoken out loud, this song is a very dancey, and the guitar delivers a very comforting, yet mysterious atmosphere. This song is not about pleading, but more like affirmations of love and standing by “her man”. Maybe not my favourite, but definitely not skippable, especially because of the level of confidence it exudes.
Wait for the signal and I’ll meet you after dark Show me the places where the others gave you scars Now this is an open-shut case Guess I should’ve known from the look on your face Every bait and switch was a work of art
The next song, track number 2, champagne problems, is a very sad delivery of a love story about two people that find themselves wanting different things in life. Echoing things of the past, and things of the present, but with different protagonists, the cadence of the piano makes it feel like every word and note is a dagger that gets shoved in your heart and taken out with the music. Some people have pointed out the possible mental health issues of the female protagonist, however I think we should also celebrate the fact that this song allows one of the parties to remove themselves from a relationship that doesn’t offer them what they want in a way that is honest, albeit a bit blunt.
One for the money, two for the show I never was ready, so I watch you go Sometimes you just don’t know the answer ‘Til someone’s on their knees and asks you
And then we have the only Jack Antonoff song off the album, gold rush. It’s such a pop masterpiece, filled with a loud tempo, with an almost electronic sound that effectively increases the expectations and the delivery of a very dreamy soundscape reminiscing of some of the 1989 era songs. It’s a fun song about Swift tying her love to the golden colour, as she does lately when it comes to her lover.
But I don’t like a gold rush, gold rush I don’t like anticipating my face in a red flush I don’t like that anyone would die to feel your touch Everybody wants you Everybody wonders what it would be like to love you Walk past, quick brush I don’t like slow motion double vision in rose blush I don’t like that falling feels like flying ‘til the bone crush Everybody wants you But I don’t like a gold rush
‘tis the damn season is perfect for a December night. It’s about stumbling upon your past, and giving in, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It has a very “the one that got away” vibe, but less positive than the 1, a similarly themed song from folklore. It almost feels like a drunken choice to give in into familiarity, while knowing how wrong it is to do this, and as a fun fact, Swift was drunk when she wrote this song in one night.
We could call it even You could call me babe for the weekend ‘Tis the damn season, write this down I’m stayin’ at my parents’ house And the road not taken looks real good now
My personal favourite, although it’s nothing I’ve experienced, and (supposedly, neither did Swift), it is proof that you don’t necessarily need a personal example to feel inspired. This song is about (allegedly) Princess Diana and Prince Charles, and depicts a very dysfunctional story of someone always trying to please their partner, which only tolerates their presence and efforts. It feels a bit like mirrorball off folklore, but while that song is a bit directed at the whole world, this is directed at the cruelty of our partners. Because I truly believe that it’s so much easier to be cruel to someone we love, and especially cruel with someone who loves us, and this song just further confirms this for me. The piano in tolerate it is haunting, the lyrics are just sharp knives hitting me, and Taylor’s vocals are pained with unrequited love…
While you were out building other worlds, where was I? Where’s that man who’d throw blankets over my barbed wire? I made you my temple, my mural, my sky Now I’m begging for footnotes in the story of your life Drawing hearts in the byline Always taking up too much space or time You assume I’m fine, but what would you do if
I break free and leave us in ruins? Took this dagger in me and removed it? Gain the weight of you then lose it Believe me, I could do it
Taylor Swift’s collaboration with her friends from HAIM is quite the fun true crime little story, but I have to admit – while I do enjoy the fun element, I still think it’s a bit too simple for Swift’s ambitions and potential. But I like this route and I support it happen again in the future. The song feels much like a typical country song, where a woman is avenged by her friends. This simplistic approach works well in telling this story, and no body, no crime presents itself as being a little unconventional and worthy to be explored by Netflix maybe.
Good thing my daddy made me get a boating license when I was fifteen And I’ve cleaned enough houses to know how to cover up a scene Good thing Este’s sister’s gonna swear she was with me („She was with me dude”) Good thing his mistress took out a big life insurance policy
Track 7, happiness, is a weird song. Sounds like it belongs in a funeral, but it’s about love. And I think here Swift explores again the delicate nature of love and breakups. And as much as I love loud love, this song gives me “fingertips touching your skin, promises on the beach, warm bowl of soup when you have a cold” vibes, and I am here for this.
There’ll be happiness after me But there was happiness because of me Both of these things I believe There is happiness In our history Across our great divide There is a glorious sunrise Dappled with the flickers of light From the dress I wore at midnight Leave it all behind And there is happiness
Next track is dorothea, a very folkish sounding song, I feel the 70s in this song, and it’s so much fun because of this. The piano and the guitars blend so well, and if you ask me, I don’t know what the song is about, while I know all the lyrics.
The National team up (finally!) with Swift on track 9, to sing about Coney Island. Even for someone like me, who hasn’t visited New York, this landmark is a staple in all dramatic scenes in all the romantic movies. The story is so cruel and sweet at the same time, reminiscing about this partner that was a perfect match, but who the protagonist chased away because of their own demons. Taylor’s sweet vocals with Berninger’s low tone make this song feel like forgiveness and frustration at the same time, and I don’t think there’s a better way to feel when you hear this song.
The question pounds my head „What’s a lifetime of achievement?” If I pushed you to the edge But you were too polite to leave me And do you miss the rogue Who coaxed you into paradise and left you there? Will you forgive my soul When you’re too wise to trust me and too old to care? ‘Cause we were like the mall before the Internet It was the one place to be The mischief, the gift wrapped suburban dreams Sorry for not winning you an arcade ring
Another love song, ivy, is a beautiful metaphor about the pains caused by a lover, and how the marks people leave on us are visible or not, but we can still feel them. The lyrics are pure poetry, and the song is so simple, yet so encompassing of how it feels to be in love!
And the old widow goes to the stone every day But I don’t, I just sit here and wait Grieving for the living
Oh, goddamn My pain fits in the palm of your freezing hand Taking mine, but it’s been promised to another Oh, I can’t Stop you putting roots in my dreamland My house of stone, your ivy grows And now I’m covered in you
Another very country sounding track, cowboy like me, smells like whiskey and cigarettes, but also like home. The theme is so simple, being about finding a like minded individual that can offer you hope and new life. This love seems wild, but feels like home, and the paradox of it all blends with the melody perfectly.
And the skeletons in both our closets Plotted hard to mess this up And the old men that I’ve swindled Really did believe I was the one And the ladies lunching have their stories about When you passed through town But that was all before I locked it down
A change of pace comes with long story short, and Swift is back at her usual pop sound. Feels like a very open shut case, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The fun, upbeat tempo delivered with the lyrics that depict a very bad time, makes it seem like less impactful than it clearly was.
Past me I wanna tell you not to get lost in these petty things Your nemeses Will defeat themselves before you get the chance to swing And he’s passing by Rare as the glimmer of a comet in the sky And he feels like home If the shoe fits, walk in it everywhere you go
Swift’s tribute to her grandmother, marjorie, is a very sweet song filled with advice from another life, and memories that bring up nostalgia. I love this song so much, mainly because it reminds me of my own grandmother.
The autumn chill that wakes me up You loved the amber skies so much Long limbs and frozen swims You’d always go past where our feet could touch And I complained the whole way there The car ride back and up the stairs I should’ve asked you questions I should’ve asked you how to be Asked you to write it down for me Should’ve kept every grocery store receipt ‘Cause every scrap of you would be taken from me Watched as you signed your name Marjorie All your closets of backlogged dreams And how you left them all to me
Something unexpected hits right after marjorie, and that’s closure. I absolutely love this song, for everything that it stands for. It’s a very repetitive beat for Swift, looking like she wants to distance from a former lover that wants to offer closure and asks for forgiveness and understanding. It’s about gaining the power of not waiting for others to offer you closure, and accepting the anger and the spite that come with a breakup. There is power in being bitter, afterall.
Don’t treat me like some situation that needs to be handled I’m fine with my spite And my tears And my beers and my candles I can feel you smoothing me over
Yes, I got your letter Yes, I’m doing better It cut deep to know ya Right to the bone Yes, I got your letter Yes, I’m doing better I know that it’s over I don’t need your closure
The closing track of evermore is evermore, another collaboration with Bon Iver. As always, Swift’s and Vernon’s voices blend together to create magic. This will forever be a winter song, regardless of when I will be listening to it. Less dramatic and heartbreaking that their previous collab, exile, evermore is here to heal unspoken wounds, to offer relief and hope and growth. Bon Iver’s part is the most Bon Iver part of the song, and it makes evermore more indie than anything else on this album, while Swift’s vocals kind of remind me of Safe & Sound.
Hey December Guess I’m feeling unmoored Can’t remember What I used to fight for
I rewind the tape but all it does is pause On the very moment all was lost Sending signals To be double crossed
The whole album is full of unskippable gems, and it honestly solidifies Taylor Swift’s dominance of the charts and the music industry. With collaborators like The National and Bon Iver, with people like Paul McCartney supporting her, with her amazing songwriting skills, I think it’s safe to leave the “Taylor Swift is a bitch” narrative in the past. She can be enjoyed beyond her country albums, beyond her pop albums, beyond her over produced ones, and she is magnificent.
it’s easy to be mad, to feel like you’re fighting the wrong way. maybe you’re saying too much, or not enough. you feel the ties, and then you feel like it’s a one way street, and then you keep guessing what’s their next move, it’s like a never ending movie of rollercoaster rides, of trying to ride the tides, of not getting enough sleep or clarity, of feeling like you’re asking for charity. and yes, it’s easy to be mad, when you’re only mad at yourself. for being weak, for being too strong, too lame or too independent, too angry, or too dependent, careless or too demanding, and there’s no right way of feeling these feelings, but there’s a very wrong way to express them. take your time, because they took everything from you. you need to rebuild, you need to be thrilled. let them have your old you, it’s easy to sleep with ghosts. keep your new you to yourself, and move to the other coast. it’s okay to be mad, it’s okay to be scared, let your anger fuel you and let it be shared with the root of all evil, this handsome devil, that, in their stupid way, brought you to a higher level.
is love finite? and is it spent? sometimes it feels like our life is bent and crossed only for us to be oblivious and lost. is our world finite? and is it spent? it’s like my life is lived on borrowed time and lent, and i keep trying to make small dents, and all i get instead are smiles that are lost, arms that are crossed, incredible losses and cost.
tougher to see the holes after you shoot, and so much harder to see it after you dig my grave while you’re still asking for grace and you’re here, like you still own the place, and it’s like we’re in this race who can forget this and make it empty space, who can forget this faster, without using a plaster
it’s like i’m reliving trauma from that summer, when pain was tougher, and i only knew suffering, it was the drunken nights, the stolen lights, remembering the tights and dresses, the scars and the tresses, and everything was a valley of low, and nothing was a miserable blow as much as you were. in 2014 things were dark, and so was i, but i remember feeling so god damn alive.
move me with currents that pinch me and lunge me at walls and despair, and give me the haunted air that will heal me, it’s like there’s nothing besides me, and nothing that hides me, and yet i am hunted, and thrown to the ground. just leave me with ashes and thunder and sound.